How director and star create emotional power with glimpses of memories in ‘Aftersun’
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fight scenes can be the stuff of science fiction, but they’re not quite what’s on the surface in Aftermath, the new film from Academy Award winner Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The “Hercules” and “Ninja” star was the film’s first choice to direct but the two of them couldn’t agree on the project. The director ultimately turned to Stallone, who had worked with Schwarzenegger on “Babylon,” saying, “You’ve been on set with Arnold, you know what he wants.” Schwarzenegger agreed to the project, and directed his first film while Stallone served as its co-producer. Stallone came back to the director’s chair with a screenplay that was inspired by a history of the Western frontier, including a series of clashes between the men and women of the military and women who’d become involved.
“My intention was not to make a Western but to show the conflict between the men and women in the military,” Stallone said of the story. “I want to show that there is something between the men and women.”
Aftermath is a visceral and highly emotional drama that’s not nearly as serious as the violence of “Serenity.” It’s also a deeply intimate story that looks at the bonds between lovers and focuses on the characters’ struggles on the home front.
There are no easy or clear answers in Aftermath, the new film that started it all with director and star Sylvester Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s first collaboration after spending years working together on “Babylon,” a film about a man who must fight to protect his wife and daughter from a group of killers. It was Schwarzenegger’s first directorial feature, and it’s the first time Arnold has collaborated with Stallone.
“I came in and I thought, ‘We’ve got to shoot a Western